Author Archives: Maggie Ramey

Anatomy of a Fakes & Forgeries Entry

January is a good time of year for me. The Spring Bull Gallery Fakes & Forgeries Show gives me a chance to play in clay, before I give my kiln its winter hibernation. As a lifelong learner, it also gives me a chance to learn about an artist by reading and watching videos about that person. This year I chose Jose Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican illustrator who was known for his satirical drawings of the upper class and government in the early 1900’s….(go ahead, take a minute to google his name and learn about him; you’ll also learn how his art was used to illustrate the Day of the Dead.)

As a ceramic artist, I don’t care about the perfect shape of a piece I am making; just let me make something quickly so I can decorate—just give me the surface of the piece–let me embellish! (I got new carving tools for Christmas!)  Five platters were made using the sgrafitto technique,  as one never knows if the kiln goddess will be kind…or cruel.   Happily, five platters made it out of the final glaze kiln, #1 was entered in the show, #2 warped so is hanging on my living room wall, and 3, 4, and 5 are looking for new homes.

Enjoy the Spring Bull Gallery’s Fakes and Forgeries Show, running January 18 to February 28 with  entries of artists’ interpretations of fakes and forgeries of great art—it’s a fun show! And say hello to La Catrina—she’ll be watching you!

 

 

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Holiday Open House this Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 14 & 15)

My kiln is resting, all ornaments are strung and beaded, a couple fairs are under my belt, and my garage is cleared, sawdust vacuumed, and set up for an Open House this weekend…. It’s been another year of being consumed by an addictive clay hobby. In addition, it’s obvious by the amount of clay pieces stashed (hoarded) everywhere in the studio that its time to let go. So out of the studio and into the garage, with many pieces looking for new homes and owners who appreciate hand made and local!

 

What’s available? Ornaments, mugs, tapas plates, blue and white lace imprinted serving pieces, salsa bowls, olive plates, and many one of a kind pieces.   Can’t make it? Get in touch and come another time! I’m here until I need another “grandchild fix” over the winter! Perhaps I’ll see you soon, and if not, Happy Holidays!

(10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days)

 

P.S. People on the other side of the bridge can see Fat Robin Pottery and over 60 other potters’ great items at South County Art Association’s 49th Annual Pottery and Art Sale in Kingston until December 21—it’s worth a drive from anywhere!

 

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Change is in the air!

Happy to be back in the studio and back to my clay life.  However, the next chapter of my life is beginning as the first grandchild is due in November. Priorities will soon be changing and I’m sure it’s not acceptable to get wet clay on a newborn! In addition, as a lifelong learner eager to learn new techniques and to try new ideas, my focus has shifted from vintage lace, (which I still love and will continue) , back to more organic glaze colors and….birds…..especially ornaments and on mugs. This Saturday as a vendor at the RI Foreign Language Association Conference my fall selling season begins! Fatrobinpottery.com continues to be updated with new photos of new inventory and show schedule.  If you see something you would like in any of my new photos, get in touch as I am a “small batch” potter and inventory may be limited.  Have a great fall and perhaps I’ll see you!

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This year it’s for the birds!

Common birds at my backyard feeder called to me and I made cardinal, blue jay, chickadee and hummingbird ornaments to celebrate everyone’s back yard! My lace inspired bowls, trays, and mugs are selling well, but this year’s favorites are the ornaments! Bestseller is the cardinal, which for many people, bring back fond memories of departed loved ones, or, for some, when a cardinal appears, it’s a visitor from heaven. Enjoy decorating your tree with all your memories! And if you need a few more memory makers, I am open every day—call/email/text to make an appointment.

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Welcome to Fall and Holiday 2018

Fat Robin inventory is increasing day by day as vintage lace is impressed into clay slabs and formed into bowls, trays, ornaments, mugs, and more! Sgrafitto mugs are appearing and bright sunflowers are poking out of mugs and bowls… the kiln is busy, ornaments are getting beaded and strung, and the last thought at bedtime before I switch my brain off (ha!) is, what’s next!

Unique Boutique Artisan Fair on November 10 and 11 at Easton’s Beach Rotunda is my first event of the season. I will not be at the Hibernian Sale this year as my daughter is getting married and therefore, my mind and body will not be focusing on clay!   South County Art Association 48th Annual Holiday Fair begins the day after Thanksgiving and includes Fat Robin Pottery, and then I continue to Newport Hospital Auxiliary Fair on Dec. 1 and Newport Art Museum Holiday Sale on Dec. 13 to 15….and perhaps if inventory and energy allow there might be an Open House or another fair….will keep you posted!

The crisp fall air beckons and reminds you to get out and enjoy all the fall and holiday festivals, fairs, bazaars, and to support all the artisans behind those vendor tables! If you want to come by and shop Fat Robin Pottery, my garage is my staging area and all my inventory is spread out for you to see. I make a set amount of items, and unfortunately, when they are gone, they are gone….so if a certain mug is calling you, email or call or text to set up a time to come by….and bag it!

Have a great happy and sane and thoughtful fall and holiday season 2018!

 

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Fakes & Forgeries….then Spain!

In February each year, Spring Bull Gallery in Newport has their annual Fakes and Forgeries Gallery Show, my favorite….artists submit their interpretation of a well know work of art… my interpretation uses clay as my palette. The first year I entered I interpreted Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the next year was Hokasi’s The Great Wave, and this year was Gustav Klimt’s , The Kiss…. I enjoy entering because creating my entries is a sampling of every clay surface technique I’ve learned…and I am all about the surface!

At times like this, I am glad I have a smaller kiln, as one doesn’t make one entry as you never know what a piece  will look like until it comes out of the final glaze kiln. I made 5 pieces, using every surface technique I enjoy—carving, slip trailing, sgrafitto, wax resist, mishima, and then applying underglazes, washes, and glaze.

In January my cellar studio by the sea is too cold and too damp to work in. Therefore, I covered the floor of my living room, set up a table near the window (ah, natural light) thus setting up a small temporary studio, with  all clay, tools, and supplies needed in a warm, cozy room. I spent the week creating, relaxing, and enjoying the cold January weather on my terms.  I did something that is hard to learn and hard to practice (but always pays off)…I took my time! Patience is critical, you never know how something is going to turn out until it’s out of the final glaze kiln; I could only say to people “I am working on my entry….” Met with a friend when all 5 were out of the kiln to make a group decision on which piece should be entered. When the entry was finally delivered to Spring Bull Gallery, I posted my photos on social media and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief…..and then started think of next years work of art to interpret….any ideas? As a follow up, on the show opening night, my entry had a now familiar red dot, which mean I no longer owned the piece. But I do have four other interpretations if any one is interested.

 

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-23,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-23,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

 

 

 

 

 

In a few days, our family is off to Valencia, Spain to immerse ourselves in Las Fallas, a festival which culminates in a week of fiestas, fireworks, culture, and mayhem! I’m copying a great explanation by the Don Quixote Spanish Language Learning School on a “Spain Travels” heading on my website, because it’s the most concise description I have found…. it’s hard to explain. Enjoy reading the description when you have a chance. Once in Spain, I hope to learn more about Spanish pottery and specifically the Cuerda Seca surface technique and also have a description under Spain Travels. I am wondering how 3 weeks in Spain will have an influence on my clay work; we will all find out as the year progresses!

 

 

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Thank you for a great season!

 

My cellar studio is not conducive to productivity in this arctic (artic?) cold. Hence, I am comfortably sitting by the fire and reflecting on this past season and, thanks to many new and old customers, thinking ahead to many more seasons. A warm feeling overcame me on Christmas Eve– I thought about all the people in the holiday season opening a gift and receiving a piece of Fat Robin Pottery vintage lace impressed pottery for the first time…It became clear it was worth every second of the long hours spent in the studio creating.

 

The highlight of the craft shows? Watching total strangers walk up to my table/booth with a wondering look that read “give me time to think” as they looked at my wares for the first time. And a memory surfaced for them….my mother’s lace doily … and if I saw they needed help with their memory I showed them a doily….and the transformation on their face when they completed that memory and told me of a grandmother or aunt with similar lace in their possession was wonderful. One customer made the statement “you make the past come to life in your work.” And that comment hit the nail on the head…respect for the past and the women who created these doilies/lace and preserving these memories.

 

People are happy to suggest ETSY for a selling platform for my work….it won’t work for me—I can’t see the customers faces as they see my work…. And that means everything to me….

 

Thanks for a great season—I have lots of ideas to explore and I won’t dissappoint you!  Maggie

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Holiday Open House this Sunday, Dec. 3

It’s my annual holiday open house this Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,  through the gate and in my garage at 26 Simmons St. in Newport….on Saturday, I will be at the Newport Hospital Auxiliary Craft Show at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Valley Rd. in Middletown;  I then empty all the boxes and display everything I make–from vintage lace impressed pottery to raku to pit fire to  sgrafitto on mugs, bowls, ornaments, plates, and more–a years worth of playing in clay and you can see it all!  My last selling event is the Newport Art Museum Faculty and Student show and I’m still working on surprises for that fair.  As usual, park creatively on Simmons St. or park elsewhere and take a walk and see all the sights along lower Thames St.

Can’t make it?  Email or call to set up an appointment on another day….I’ll have the tea water ready!

If I don’t see you, have a safe and sane holiday season! and thank you for keeping an eye on Fat Robin Pottery!  Maggie

 

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After many months of work, it’s Showtime!

After months of learning, thinking, practicing, tweaking, exploring, traveling, wondering, and creating, it’s ready or not, the holiday fair season is upon us, starting with the Unique Boutique at Easton’s Beach in Newport.    Along with my new “a day at the beach” ornaments (scallop, starfish, quahog), there are more lace inspired table serving pieces, great for any holiday table. Looking forward to pleasing current Fat Robin fans and to delighting new pottery users! This pottery is made to be used and to become your new favorite! Looking ahead, I will have a table at the Pop Up Sale at the Hibernian Hall, Wellington Ave, Newport on Saturday, Nov. 18 and at the Newport Hospital Auxiliary Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Valley Rd. in Middletown…..Sunday, Dec. 3 all are invited to the Fat Robin Pottery Holiday Open House…..it’s that time of year! Happy Holidays!

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Change is in the air….

This has been a summer of transition on the home front, as a daughter moved into her own home leaving an empty bedroom…. 2 empty bedrooms to be exact, which then involved painting, and that cleaning fervor led to other rooms. Much time was spent sorting old paper, possessions, books, emptying boxes in all rooms of the house and reliving memories for my husband and I….it was time well spent.

In one old file was my job resume from the late 1970’s.   Since then I have had many jobs and raised children, so I strayed far from that original resume…. the best part of reading that resume was my objective …”to design, develop and manage my own business using personal skills and the talents and creativity of fellow craftspeople and artists…” I didn’t even know clay existed back then! But all my jobs, life experiences, travel, people connections, in the interim have brought me back to my original objective…..it only took 30 years plus to bring me full circle to my original intentions! Looking forward to many more revelations in the coming year….

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